“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit”
- E.E. Cummings
Confidence… seems to be territorial. As in, when you leave your place of familiarity your ability to be certain seems to evade you. Now, this theory of confidence being relative to space leads me to believe a dissection of confidence would be logical. Confidence is objective; it’s a tone, personality, expression, attitude and a lifestyle. It is performed subjectively through various vehicles and tools which differ from person to person. An ideal set of confidence is one performed in moderation. Too much confidence, you’re labeled cocky, or arrogant, too little and you’re considered an individual with low self-esteem who’s subject to subordination. Living life, we’ve all seen the spectrum of confidence on a daily basis. The extremes of the spectrum seem to differ in one interesting way.
Lacking Moderation Abundance
Those to the right of the diagram seem to practice confidence as if repetition would eventually cement the attitude within them. On the contrary, those at the very left hand side of the scale never consciously practice low confidence. It seems as though low confidence is an unnoticed transcript which is saturated within every movement, thought and feeling. Thus the difference between the two extremes is acknowledgement and awareness.
Going back to our extreme “rightists”, a visual example in this case would be the over-confident male approaching any and every female he sees fit to his standards. I’m willing to assume most would paint this picture with a negative stroke, as would I. But, there are positives relative to this overzealous technique. Extract the “wooing” portion of the example and focus on the fundamentals. What stands out the most is an individual unafraid of failure or judgment. It seems they would rather fail than not try, because not trying creates the unknown. My mother would always say “nothing ventured, nothing gained” which must be an empirical truth. If you’re unwilling to take part and participate in life you will achieve very little. Regarding outcomes, the worst that can happen is “no”, or a version of it.
So my question is, how and why do people lack confidence? What happened or hasn’t happened to them that has prevented or deterred them from enabling confidence? I believe it is an accumulation process; being closed to experiences outside of your comfort zone can transition from conscious decisions to a reflex. My point is, an open mind is a good mind. Any experience always brings something to the table. To participate is to uncover different parts of yourself that you may not have been aware of. An experience is only physically temporary, meaning it wont last forever in the formerly mentioned manner. It may stick with you emotionally or psychologically, but these are just hints which can help define ourselves. My mother also used to force me to try new types of food, as I was a stubborn young child with an even worse pallet. She would ensure me if it didn’t appeal to me, I wouldn’t have to eat anymore of it. Now apply such a lesson to life and I bet you’ll live to experience an abundance of memories; memories which will help establish the dynamic individual you were, are, and will be. Trying everything once is not spreading yourself thin, it’s exploring.
Be open, embrace failure and participate in life and eventually you will discover where your confidence resides; in a person who’s given themselves opportunities to understand how and why they are confident.